PHOENIX — The president of the Arizona Board of Education said Arizona Superintendent of Public Education Diane Douglas’ assault claim against him is nothing more than an attempt to discredit him.
Douglas alleged President Greg Miller grabbed her arm at a Monday meeting during a quarrel over who had the floor.
“President Miller physically assaulted her by grabbing her arm during the meeting,” said Charles Tack, a spokesman for Douglas. “The superintendent should not be subjected to bullying, intimidation and physical attacks from the board president as she attempts to do her duty on the board.”
Miller told KTAR News 92.3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday that the only contact that may have occurred was incidental.
“I reached over, grabbed the microphone attached to the dais and just moved it forward,” he said. “Maybe, in doing that, I touched her arm or something in that process, but I never grabbed her.”
(Listen to Douglas and Miller argue at the meeting:)
After the meeting, Douglas filed a report with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Miller said he has not been contacted by the agency.
“I didn’t find out DPS had been called or contacted until the media reported it,” he said.
DPS said no charges have been filed.
Miller said Douglas’ claim is nothing more than an attempt to discredit him in the public eye. He said the superintendent is not cooperating with others and instead seems wrapped up in gaining political power.
“Those things all point to the fact that I don’t think she’s doing her job,” he said, though he stopped short of answer questions about a recall effort.
Earlier this year, Douglas filed a lawsuit against Miller and board executive Director Christine Thompson over who has the right to hire and fire board staff.
Douglas contends she’s in charge of board staff. But a judge ruled against her last month, saying the board oversees its staff.
Douglas has refused to allow remote access since the board and its staff moved out of her building into their own offices.
The board has complained that investigators need remote access to efficiently investigate bad teachers.
Tack said Douglas’ position at Monday’s board meeting remained the same — that board employees who investigate teachers’ backgrounds can go to the Department of Education offices and get needed access.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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